President Donald Trump said Saturday he’s “a hundred percent” certain that Christine Blasey Ford named the wrong person when she said Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, he told reporters on Air Force One.
He also called Kavanaugh, who was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice today after being confirmed in a 50-48 Senate vote, “squeaky clean.” Beyond the sexual assault accusation, a number of his Yale classmates have said Kavanaugh lied under oath about his drinking habits.
“This is one of the reasons I chose him is because there is no one with a squeaky clean past like Brett Kavanaugh,” added Trump, who was thrilled that Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice Saturday. “We’re very honored that he was able to withstand this horrible, horrible attack by the Democrats.”
Trump also insisted women were “extremely happy” about Kavanaugh’s confirmation because they’re apparently relieved the men in their lives are less likely now to be accused of sexual assault. “Women were outraged at what happened to Brett Kavanaugh,” he added, according to pool reports.
He called protests against Kavanaugh “all phony stuff.”
Asked if he was certain Ford named the wrong person in her sexual assault, he responded: “A hundred percent.” He seemed to cite the FBI report, but it hasn’t been released publicly, so it’s not known what he might have been referring to.
Ford testified under oath last month that she was “100 percent” certain it was Kavanaugh who she said pinned her on a bed at a high school house party, tried to remove her clothing and placed a hand over her mouth when she attempted to yell for help.
The “mistaken identity” narrative was initially floated by Republicans before the Ford testimony last month. Conservative lawyer Ed Whelan suggested in a bizarre series of tweets that a classmate of Kavanaugh’s may have assaulted Ford. He named the man and included a photograph of him. He later apologized profusely for insinuating the man was responsible for a crime. He stepped down as the president of a conservative “ethics” think tank in the wake of the scandal.
Ford explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee that she knew the other man named by Whelan very well and that he did not assault her.
When asked by Sen Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) “with what degree of certainty” Ford believed Kavanaugh had assaulted her, she responded: “100 percent.”
Despite Ford’s statement, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) also said that she does not believe Ford was assaulted by Kavanaugh. “I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union” in an interview set to air Sunday. “I do believe that she was assaulted. I don’t know by whom. I’m not certain when.”